Today, the Procter & Gamble-owned beauty brand announced a new endeavor to honor 20th century space exploration pioneer Mary Golda Ross, the first-known Native American woman engineer and the first woman engineer of Lockheed, by debuting a statue at the First Americans Museum in her home state of Oklahoma.
Ross, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, was a brilliant engineer and trailblazer who made lasting contributions to the US aerospace industry. As a founding engineer of Lockheed’s legendary top-secret Skunk Works program, Mary worked on the earliest studies of orbiting satellites, crewed Earth-orbit flights, and created preliminary designs for flyby missions to Mars and Venus.
Advice came from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum to ensure the statue is historically accurate, said Olay.
Of the 5,500-plus public outdoor sculptures of individuals in the US, only 10% portray women.
Research shows people tend to mentor others who are ‘like them. In STEM fields comprised of 73% men who are more likely to mentor other men, this creates a vicious cycle that locks women out of opportunities.
By providing mentorship opportunities in a space where there are few available, Olay hopes to show girls that the future of STEM does look “like them,” and that success is achievable, because when girls can see it, they can believe it.
Further, Olay and Million Women Mentors will host a virtual panel for high-school students featuring female role models in STEM fields. The panelists will discuss the journeys that led to their STEM careers, the impact of mentorship in their own lives, and offer guidance on how students can seek out mentors of their own and maintain those relationships. Million Women Mentors and Olay will work with high schools and out-of-school programs to recruit for the event.
Panelists include Rolanda Wilkerson, Olay principal scientist and senior director skin care, Professor Deborah McGregor, systems engineering leader at Lockheed Martin, and more.
Olay also created a space-themed limited-edition jar moisturizer inspired by its mission to #FaceTheSTEMGap. The #FacetheSTEMGap jar of Regenerist Retinol 24 + Peptide Face Moisturizer will be available on Olay.com for $32.33 starting this montgh, while supplies last.
Today’s Olay’s announcement comes as the Procter & Gamble-owned brand is entering year two of its 10-year program.
It also follows Olay’s work with Ebony magazine announced last month in which partnered with Ebony on a commemorative print issue of the magazine, the first to hit stands since 2019.